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Shelter from the Storm by Rick Flagg

October 26th, 2006 by flanews

The feds have come up with more cash to help Floridians harden their homes to protect them from storms. State lawmakers set aside 250 million dollars this year for the Hurricane Mitigation Fund and now the Department of Housing and Urban Development is adding another 100 million bucks money that can be used to retrofit older homes built before the current building codes were in effect. State Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty says it can make a big difference the next time a hurricane hits the sunshine state.

Kevin McCarty Insurance Commissioner

If we just did the five or six things that were funded by our mitigation program last year, we could reduce Floridas exposure to catastrophic events by sixty percent. Sixty percent is a huge amount of exposure reduction, which means that we can substantially save not only on our homeowners insurance, but on the cost of rebuilding after a storm.

The mitigation program focuses on improving existing homes by adding window shutters and roof anchors and inspecting mobile homes for proper tie-downs. But McCarty admits the extra 100 million dollars in just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the overall cost of the mitigation program. You can obtain a free home-improvement guide containing how-to information along with step-by-step instructions of affordable home-strengthening projects by calling the Department of Financial Services at 1-800-342-2762.


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